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Embarrassment Brought Me Here

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, My name is Randy and I live in Minnesota. I have always loved cooking on the grill but so many things at the butcher shop get bypassed simply from me not knowing what it is or how to prepare and cook it. All grilling is done on a propane IR grill, but I decided to expand my knowledge by starting with a smoker. I purchased an Oklahoma Long Horn offset, ordered some hardwood charcoal from Amazon, and decided to jump in using briquette charcoal smoking a whole chicken and country style BBQ ribs. 


I ran two dry test runs and read for several weeks everything I could find on the internet, but first attempt was a total failure. Charcoal ash choked out my fire after three hours, chicken never rose above 140 degrees and was finished off on the grill, and I was waiting for the country style ribs to begin falling apart but they only turned to jerky. 


I know I'm green at this, and my wife ate my somewhat dry breasted chicken complaining it still had some pink near the bones.and she would not partake in eating any left-overs. The pork was tossed in the trash. 


I know this smoking meat opens many new possibilities for me to enjoy preparing food, and after failing so badly with my first attempt it was tempting to just stick with grilling... However, I will get back on my feet and try again, hopefully I will be a bit more prepared the next time and will visit this forum trying to absorb the wealth of knowledge and experience available from others.


I may be more of a lurker since I do not have much to offer while I plan my second attempt at smoking. I'm thinking of trying a whole chicken again so I can get that right before moving on. 

post #2 of 10
well you sure as heck come to right place fer motivation fer sure! bbq is lotta trial and error, thats how you get good. dont be discouraged...you just gotta fire up that smoker, learn temp/heat management and get yourself a good thermy...youll be on the right track for awesome Q! guaranteed!! have fun with it and good luck. be looking forward to seeing some of your views good or bad in the future. it can always help someone else and itll help us to help you out.
post #3 of 10


Glad you joined the group. The search bar at the top of any page is your best friend.
About anything you wanna know about smoking/grilling/curing/brining/cutting or slicing
and the list goes on has probably been posted. Remember to post a QVIEW of your smokes.
We are all smoke junkies here and we have to get our fix. If you have questions Post it
and you will probably get 10 replies with 11 different answers. That is because their
are so many different ways to make great Q We all have our own taste.

Happy smoken.


post #4 of 10
Hello Randy, and welcome to SMF! Glad you joined us. This is a great place to share ideas on our favorite pastimes...smoking and grilling great food! There are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who really enjoy helping one another. Any time you need help, just ask and you'll get plenty!

post #5 of 10

welcome1.gifto SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! All of us here have made boo-boos....and are still learning with each "smoke".  At least you can eat the mistakes!  biggrin.gif


You should sign up for Jeff's Free 5 day E-Course, and it's great!  This is chock full of great information....no matter what your experience level might be!


If you didn't read the "Terms of Service" notes.....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums and some guidelines of how to interact within the forums. Off site links are not allowed here at SMF per Jeff in Rule #11. Not that you have done anything wrong....just a little bit of FYI for new members!


If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!



post #6 of 10

Welcome to the SMF Family...Since you are Super Green (we all were once!) you will greatly benefit from Jeff's free 5 day eCourse. There is a link on the bottom right of the forum main page and the right side of most pages. This will give an overview on a variety of Q basics. Beyond that, here is a bunch of reading on the subject. The video uses a nice Charcoal fire basket with dividers. This makes life easier especially for longer smokes like ribs and butts. The one below is a Cadillac but if you search Charcoal Baskets you will find lots of easy designs. ..JJ







How to season and a Mod you will want to do...


Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 7/19/13 at 9:19am
post #7 of 10

Hello Randy MN and welcome to the fun.  You have already received some good advice.  Many good folk here with a load of experience that they are more than willing to share.  If you have specific questions just start a thread and someone with experience will be along soon to offer advice.  Spend some time doing some research on the forums, tons of advice and recipes already available there.  The trial and error method works well.  We will try to help you keep the errors to a minimum since we already made them for you.  We look forward to your contributions.  Have fun.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #8 of 10
Glad you joined us Randy, welcome1.gif from North Dakota!
Sorry to hear about the ribs, it will all come together quicker than you think with a little practice and research. Temperature is key when smoking low 'n slow, so make sure you have an accurate thermometer for both the cooking chamber temperature and for the temperature of the product you are cooking.
post #9 of 10

Hey Randy, welcome to the forum.


My first smoker was a cheaper version of yours, and as soon as I got it home I started a big charcoal fire in the firebox and slapped two whole chickens on the rack. There was enough wood in the coals to produce gobs of smoke. I proudly watched the chimney billow thick white smoke, and saw the same puffing from every crack in the smoker. I was certain my chicken was going to be the best ever cooked.


Needless to say they were far from the best ever. Actually they were closer to inedible. We salvaged enough off one for supper and promptly trashed the other.

We've all been there. But fortunately the good folks here at SMF set me straight on the finer points of smoking, and I know they'll do the same for you.


Good luck!

post #10 of 10

I want to apologize for the laughter I know you heard it. You'll get to laugh the next time too. Everyone has one of those days, just be glad you weren't cooking at your boss's anniversary party. ROFLMAO. Ended up being a Pizza party, it has happened to everyone here. Good news you got all your oh sh%t's out of the way already.


Since your profile is lacking, can't see what you do, but....... a helpful suggestion would be to get a book, a notebook, a journal, a cardex, a flash drive, something you can keep dedicated just to your cooking. Then take notes on your smokes. You know how I am sure, the who what when where how and whys of the cook. Then your results, what you liked and didn't. You can then research the search engine or talk with a Guru to help, heck nearly everyone here loves to talk about smoking. Then note what you want to remember to change, adjust, tweak or just change for the next time you cook. Call it your snipers kill book. It will help alot.  Take pictures so we can all see and enjoy your achievements it helps us too, it inspires everyone to try new ideas.


Don't worry about your last attempt, you are in good company now, we are all smoke addicts.


Never stress out over the smoke, its all about relaxing, enjoying, and having fun. No stress allowed! Well you can if you screw up your bosses big party....LOL


Enjoy the smoke and welcome to my addiction.

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